The George Inn

The George Inn

The George Inn on Borough High Street is London’s only remaining half-galleried pub and is owned by the National Trust. It’s long been on my list of places to visit in London and, as it’s easily accessible by public transport, it seemed like a good place to visit on a damp and dreary November evening, after some non-National Trust activities during the day.

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As Mr NTbB and I were planning on eating there on a Friday evening, I booked a table for us. The pub is run by Greene King and you can book online or by phone, despite information to the contrary on the National Trust website. I’m not sure whether it was because it is nearly the festive season, or if it’s standard practice, but when I booked they did take a £5 deposit per person – deductible from our final bill. As we discovered, the restaurant is quite small, so I’d highly recommend booking. As you might expect in Central London on a Friday night, the pub was busy and, at times, noisy.

Pub sign: The George Inn
The building on the site dates from 1676, after the original building burnt down in a fire that destroyed much of medieval Southwark

Mr NTbB and I arrived by Tube, travelling to London Bridge Underground station, just along the high street from The George. London Bridge is on the Jubilee line and the Bank branch of the Northern line. On arrival at the station we followed signs for the Borough High St (east side) station exit. This brought us out on the correct side of the road (opposite the entrance to Borough Market).

The pub itself is tucked back from the road behind some lovely old wooden gates. As you can see from the photos, the pub was already bedecked with garlands for Christmas and looked gorgeous.

The George Inn
The galleries on pubs enabled theatre productions to be performed in the pub yards – with the audience watching from the galleries.

The Gallery Restaurant, as you might expect, was reached via the gallery, accessed by a staircase from the main bar entrance.

The menu offered fairly standard pub fare, at fairly standard (but not expensive) London prices. I opted for fish and chips and Mr NTbB had a steak and ale pie (pictured). We finished it off with a sticky toffee pudding. The food was really tasty and filling, and the service friendly and helpful. (At this point I have to admit to being too impatient to eat to remember to take photos of my food before digging in – I’d never make a food blogger!)

Steak and Ale Pie at the George Inn

On leaving, we walked to London Bridge National Rail station, which is a little further away than the tube station. Turning right out of the pub yard, we walked past the entrance to the Underground and turned right down St Thomas Street (past the Old Operating Theatre Museum – I’ll definitely be back for a visit). The station entrance is 200 m along the road, on the left.

The George Inn at night

The George was beautiful, both inside and out, with lots of wooden beams and period features. Internally it was much like lots of old pubs, but the galleried exterior was really special. Even if you don’t eat here, I’d definitely recommend a visit to the yard to see this now-unique design. The book Shakespeare’s Local by Pete Brown details the history of the pub. I’ll certainly be getting hold of a copy for a read (but no, I can’t recommend it… yet!)

Please note: All information is correct at time of publication, but please do check – timetables and ticket prices are subject to regular changes.

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